The stuff a person does in order to write a book can be pretty varied. Lately, all I do is read up on the NFL. Except when I’m reading up about player injuries in the NFL and then the specifics of how doctors deal with those injuries. When you start reading up on this stuff it becomes clear why these guys are paid so much money. The injuries they can sustain aren’t scraped knees and elbows.

In Scrambling, my quarterback is running with the ball because his receivers are under heavy coverage. He’s tackled from behind which causes his head to jerk forward then back as he’s on this way to the ground. And because of his forward momentum, he hits the ground pretty hard, knocking the breath from him for a few seconds. He has pain in his neck and, of course, they collar him to keep him immobile until they can discover the extent of his injury. He ends up with what is relatively a minor injury on the big scale of vertebrae injuries, a compression fracture of the C6 vertebrae which requires about 7-8 weeks of wearing a cervical collar. However, it leaves him with a decision to make about whether or not to continue playing. Another hit like that and the next fracture could be much worse.  Much worse means damage to the spinal cord which could lead to paralysis and in some cases death.

Cervical fractures aren’t like breaking a leg. Those bones protect the spinal cord so any sort of injury to the vertebrae is a possible injury to the spinal cord. And trust me, you do not want to injure your spinal cord. Injuries to the C1 and C2 vertebrae are a very, very bad thing. They are the two that connect your head to the rest of you. And the other 5 vertebrae in the cervical area (the neck area) are all pretty important too.

There’s a chart I saw that shows the sections of vertebrae in the spine and what they are called and what numbers of vertebrae are in that section (ie the C numbers.) Also on that chart was a very scary thing. It showed at which place on your spine damage to the spinal cord would cause you to be a paraplegic, quadraplegic, where damage would affect your heart and other organs and where damage would cause you to stop breathing and possibly die.

Very scary stuff. Yet football players risk this continually. Makes you wonder if all that money they get is even worth it really.  The top ten most horrendous injuries in football included Joe Theisman breaking his leg from a hit by Lawrence Taylor. I saw this live on TV. To this day, thinking of it makes me want to puke. It was awful to see. Other top injuries included Mike Utley of the Lions who was paralyzed and Stone Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs who died on the field from a neck injury. There’s a lot of these out there on lists with gruesome video attached. Tough to watch unless you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not.

People can say players get paid the big bucks to risk their bodies and lives, but I don’t think you can put a price on being able to walk or be alive. It is their choice to play but man, this is a rough sport.

Now, how about a Marcus to make Monday better?

Oh, now that’s really nice. Very elegant and excellent for this sunny Monday morning! Have a good one!



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